Organic food may be richer in nutrients and more healthful to eat than food grown with the use of pesticides and other chemicals, according to researchers from the University of Copenhagen. The scientists — who plan to present their findings tomorrow at a conference of the Soil Association, a British organic watchdog — compared plants grown under strict organic conditions with ones grown with the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. They found that the organic plants contained higher levels of vitamins and secondary metabolites, some of which are thought to lower the risk of cancer and heart disease. In other news, the U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to propose a new set of national organic standards next month. When the USDA released its first proposed guidelines in late 1997, it received a record 300,000 public comments, most of which were critical or angry because the standards were so lax and would have allowed genetically modified foods to be labeled organic.